ROUND 10 PREVIEW
Broadcast Game of the Week
University of Canberra Capitals vs Perth Lynx at National Convention Centre, Sunday, 3pm (Local time)
Two of the WNBL’s top teams face off for the final time in the regular season as first visits third on Sunday.
The game will mark the first Indigenous round in the UC Caps’ 34-year history and the team will don Indigenous round jerseys to honour the occasion.
The Lynx and UC Caps have developed a rivalry this season and the match-up will feature five of the top ten scorers in the WNBL, including two of the top three in Asia Taylor (20.5 points per game) and Kelsey Griffin (19.6 points per game) who have a history based on their two clashes in 2018/19.
In addition, Kia Nurse has been an outstanding addition to the UC Caps’ roster this season with an average of 17.8 points while Brittany McPhee has kept the scoreboard ticking over for Perth with 15.9 points.
The Lynx will have to deal with Marianna Tolo who returned to the floor last weekend and shot 10-12 from the field for 23 points in just 21 minutes, showing absolutely no rust after two years rehabbing her knee.
Sunday’s game will again have finals ramifications for both teams as Perth need to keep winning to hold off Melbourne while the Caps are holding off the hottest team in the league at the moment in Adelaide.
With both previous meetings having been won by Perth at home in nail-biters, the Caps will be hoping to flip the script at the National Convention Centre but the Lynx have impressed on the road this season with a 4-1 record overall.
Watch: Fox Sports Australia channel 505 and SBS.
Adelaide Lightning vs University of Canberra Capitals at Titanium Security Arena, Friday, 7pm (Local time)
Before they host Perth on Sunday, the Caps visit Adelaide in another important clash in terms of top-four standings.
The Caps have two less losses than the Lightning to own third spot but Adelaide, currently in fourth, have played two less games which gives them a chance to leap-frog their nearest rivals this weekend if results fall their way.
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Lightning did all that damage in just eight games as they navigated an incredible stretch.
It will be interesting to see how they perform after a seven-day break and whether that recuperation time aids them or if it causes them to lose momentum.
Lauren Nicholson is coming off a Player of the Week performance and Nicole Seekamp has also starred throughout 2018/19, including in their last meeting with the Caps when she had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists in an eight-point victory.
That back court will be troublesome for the visitors again on Friday night but the Caps can take confidence from a four-point win over Adelaide earlier this season and with the series tied at 1-1, the result of this clash could also play a major role in the standings come the end of the regular season.
JCU Townsville Fire vs Perth Lynx at Townsville Stadium, Friday, 7pm (Local time)
The Fire enter Friday night’s contest with their season sitting at a crossroads, in seventh place with a 5-7 record.
A loss would see them drop three games below a .500 win-loss record, a tough spot to get out of with just five rounds remaining following this weekend.
Fire coach Claudia Brassard will be hoping to see the return of Suzy Batkovic, who is reportedly on track to return after missing her first game for Townsville in 142 outings due to persistent neck and nerve issues.
She will be needed to counter the efforts of Taylor in the front court while the entire Perth outfit will be keen to reassert themselves after a 20-point defeat at the hands of Dandenong last weekend.
The Lynx will be confident they can turn that around quickly against the Fire, who they have already defeated twice this season with no player other than Batkovic able to score more than 10 points in either contest.
Brydens Sydney Uni Flames vs Jayco Rangers at Brydens Stadium, Friday, 7pm (Local time)
After a tough start to their 2018/19 campaign, the Flames have won two out of their last three and caused the upset of the season when they took care of the Boomers last round.
Dandenong are also coming off a major upset, beating the top-of-the-table Lynx by 20 points while putting together their highest score of the season courtesy of 25 assists and 51% shooting from the field.
With three victories out of their last five games, the Rangers are suddenly back into the playoff race as they sit just two games behind Adelaide while having played two less games.
Sydney Uni are likely to be without Ally Wilson and Alex Bunton for the rest of the season but were inspired by a fantastic performance from Tahlia Tupaea last weekend who scored 21 points including the last four of the game to clinch the contest.
The Rangers have been hot and cold all season so their task is to now back up their excellent game last round and keep pressure on the top four.
Deakin Melbourne Boomers vs Adelaide Lightning at State Basketball Centre, Sunday, 3pm (Local time)
The Boomers currently sit second on the WNBL ladder but suffered a shock loss to the Flames last weekend to take their home record to 4-4.
While they are back at the State Basketball Centre on Sunday, that does not seem to be as big of an advantage as it could be and the Lightning pushed them all the way last time they entered the stadium, falling 82-84.
Jenna O’Hea proved the difference, recording 24 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals and hitting the eventual game-winner while Nia Coffey had a monster stat-line of 25 points and 19 rebounds as she almost pulled Adelaide over the line.
As well as the impressive combination of Seekamp and Nicholson, Coffey has added another weapon to the Lightning’s offensive arsenal and her strength has also been a contributing factor to the team’s solid record recently.
While the visitors’ schedule is not as hectic as it was, this will still be their third double-header in a row while the Boomers are only playing their second game in eight days which could see fatigue play a role in the outcome.
Jayco Rangers vs Bendigo Bank Spirit at Dandenong Stadium, Sunday, 3pm (Local time)
After beginning the season in red-hot fashion and finding themselves in the top two on the ladder, the Spirit have lost five games in a row by an average margin of 24 points.
During that stretch, Nat Hurst and Becca Tobin have been kept quiet and they will come up against the likes of Tessa Lavey and Kayla Pedersen this weekend with the Rangers heading in the opposite direction, having won three of their last five.
Pedersen made the Team of the Week in Round 9, putting together a 21-point, 11-rebound performance in a dominant effort against Perth while Carley Mijovic worked well in tandem with her. That will test Bendigo’s front court which will have a different look following their difficult decision to part ways with import Barbara Turner during the week.
The Rangers will be further buoyed by the triumphant return of Sara Blicavs, 12 months after rupturing her ACL. While her minutes are sure to be limited, Blicavs’ mere presence on court will be a major boost to the team and Dandenong faithful.
This game also marks the Rangers’ Indigenous round with Dandenong wearing special uniforms to commemorate the occasion.